Can the job demand-control-(support) model predict disability support worker burnout and work engagement?

Maria Vassos, Karen Nankervis, Trevor Skerry, Kerrie Lante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background Research shows that up to 43% of disability support workers (DSWs) report poor psychosocial work outcomes (e.g., stress, job burnout, low job satisfaction). This study examined whether the job demand-control-(support) model offers a valid explanation of DSW burnout and work engagement. Method 325 DSWs completed online measures of burnout, work engagement, workload, job control, and supervisor or colleague support. Results Significant three-way interactions between workload, control and colleague support were found for emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment (burnout), and vigour (work engagement). High workload, low job control and low colleague support was related to higher burnout and lower work engagement, and high colleague support or job control reduced the impact of workload on these outcomes. Conclusions Given the promising findings in relation to the job demand-control-(support) model, organisations looking to enhance DSW wellbeing in the workplace should address issues around job control, workload and support in combination as opposed to separately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • disability support workers
  • intellectual disability
  • job burnout
  • job demand-control-support model
  • work engagement


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